Go Fly A Kite Was A Success

Thank you to everyone who stop by the Lombard Park District’s Time for Tots and joined us for “Go Fly A KIte!”  We were so fortunate to partner with the Kiwanis Club of Lombard on this activity since both organizations are all about helping kids.

If you could not attend you can still participate and “Go Fly A Kite.”  Seriously, GO FLY A KITE!   April was chosen as National Kite Month because it was the month that perfectly symbolizes hope, potential, and joy.  As the first month in spring, April is the month when we see the last of the snow giving way to green lawns, a month that we are eager to get outside and be active. April is when most kite fliers start to bring their kites out of the closet and prepare for a summer in the park or on the beach.   So why not join in this year?

And, if you like, take a photo of your child with their kite an send it to jay@healthylombard.com for posting on the Healthy Lombard Selfie Page (www.facebook.com/healthylombardselfies) AND on the Kiwanis Club of Lombard website (www.kiwaniscluboflombard.org).

All entries will be entered into a drawing at the end of April. Two winners will be selected at random. The winners will each receive a $25 gift card to Yorktown Mall.

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4 Rules for Exercising with Osteoporosis

Linda Melone shared in the Silver Sneakers online news for Rivity Health that if you have osteoporosis, you may worry that being active means you’re more likely to fall and break a bone. But the opposite is true. Regular exercise with a properly designed program can help prevent falls and fractures. That’s because exercise strengthens bones and muscles, and improves balance, coordination, and flexibility—all key for people with osteoporosis.

The problem is that guidelines for exercising with osteoporosis are not crystal clear. In general, “you want to do exercises that improve or maintain bone density in the way of strength or resistance training and also include impact-style aerobic exercise,” says Karen Kemmis, D.P.T., an expert for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

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What Your Hair Says About Your Health

Kim Hayes wrote for AARP that while many of us only focus on the aesthetic pleasure of having flowing shiny locks, the fact is that dull, limp strands, or hair loss, can sometimes indicate a health issue. Here are a few conditions to watch out for: Hair loss and graying
While thinning and graying hair can be a standard part of aging for both women and men, a recent study of 2,000 men in India showed that participants who had coronary artery disease were more likely to be prematurely bald or gray. The study, conducted by the European Society of Cardiology on men under 40, discovered that the 50 percent of participants with coronary artery disease were more likely to have gone prematurely gray, versus 30 percent of a healthy control group, the BBC reports. The participants in the heart condition group were also more likely (49 percent) to have male pattern baldness, compared with those in the healthy group (27 percent).

Metabolic or hormonal stress and certain medications can cause hair loss, especially if it is sudden. This condition is called Telogen effluvium, according to Medscape. In a majority of cases, new hair starts growing within six months, but longer durations of the condition also exist.

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4 Ways Strength Training Can Make You An Awesome Runner

Sebastian Gonzales, DC, CSCS, owner and operater of  Performance Place Sports Care & Chiropractic, a sports-injury rehab clinic in Huntington Beach, California, shared with Good Health Update that

The use of power measurements to guide training and improve performance has been around for decades among competitive cyclists—in large part because power meters have been around for years that enable them to measure the force they apply to the crank shaft.

Now that power meters are available for runners, too, people are seeking new ways to build more powerful strides.

If you’re confused about how becoming more powerful can make you a faster runner, let’s start with the difference between power and strength:

  • Strength is the ability to move a load (e.g., your own body) from point A to point B. It could take 10 seconds or 1 second, but strength is not a question of time. It’s strictly about the amount of weight you’re able to move.
  • Power, on the other hand, combines both strength and time. The more powerful your body becomes, the quicker you can move that same weight from point A to point B. It’s as simple as that, and that’s why one of the foundations of power running is strength training.

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Loosen up that tight, achy neck with this stretch from a top physical therapist

K. Aleisha Fetters, in a post by Silver Sneakers for Tivity Health share that Michael Silverman, P.T., director of rehabilitation and wellness at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. had found that a lot of older adults, whom he calls “seasoned athletes,” experience tension in their necks because of faulty biomechanics.

Most adults have overactive upper traps, which run from the base of the skull to the shoulders, he explains. By keeping your shoulders constantly hunched forward or simply using these muscles when you should be using others, the traps get pulled tighter and tighter. The result: a literal pain in the neck.

What’s more, due to wear, tear, and gravity, the space in between the vertebrae actually decreases through the decades, Silverman says. This can increase aches and pains by lessening shock absorption in the neck.

Fortunately, the solution may be as simple as stretching. Research published in Clinical Rehabilitation shows that a regular stretching routine can reduce pain and improve mobility in adults with chronic neck pain.

Silverman suggests starting with the quick stretch below. By focusing on the sides of your neck, it helps elongate and ease tension in the traps without promoting the head-forward, hunched-over posture we all know too well.

Your 60-Second Solution to a Tight, Achy Neck

Sit tall in a chair, reach your right hand over your head, and place it right above your left ear. From here, gently and slowly pull your right ear toward your right shoulder, feeling a stretch in the left side of your neck. Focus on relaxing and dropping your left shoulder as you do so. Breathe slowly and deeply, holding the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Read more

10 ways to keep your family heart healthy

Helping your young kids adopt a healthy lifestyle may not seem as urgent as telling them to wear bike helmets or to stay near the lifeguard at the beach, but it can be life-saving. By laying this groundwork you’re arming them for a lifetime of reduced risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in adults.

As a personal trainer, Mary Bielawski is well versed in what’s needed for a healthy lifestyle — especially the right exercise and good nutrition. She shares this information with her clients at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness and uses it to create a way of life for her children, 6-year-old Ethan and 3-year-old Evelyn.

Bielawski suggests these strategies for helping your family stay heart healthy:

No couch potatoes: 5 tips for keeping your family on the move

  1. Children 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity, according to Health & Human Services guidelines. School kids often need some down time, too. Let them recharge for their active time by playing with toys, reading a book or just relaxing. Limit time spent online, watching TV or playing video games.
  2. If your young child regularly pushes back about playing outside, give them choices. For example, offer to take them for a walk or to the park, or they can play in the yard. “Often, when my son gets back from the activity he chose he says, ‘That was fun Mom, I’m glad I went,’” says Bielawski.
  3. Start an enjoyable, active family tradition. Bielawski hopes to start weekly hikes in the local nature preserve for her whole family. “My kids will have fun checking out the bugs and flowers,” she says. Other parents and kids might try regular bike rides, swims or bowling.
  4. Build activity into your daily routines. Do a few squats or other exercises while you stir the soup or wait for the laundry to dry. Park at the farthest end of the parking lot. Take the stairs or put on some music and just dance.
  5. Do something good for your body while doing good for others. If your kids are old enough, volunteer as a family for something physical, such as clearing brush for a conservation project or packing boxes for disaster relief.

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10 Ways to Start Losing Weight, No Matter How Unmotivated You Are

Christa Sgobba wrote in the Silver Sneakers blog that shedding pounds does not require a complete diet-and-exercise overhaul. You know you want to lose weight, and you have a pretty good idea of what you should do to make it happen. You just need to get started. And unfortunately, that’s often the hardest part.

When motivation is lacking, remember this: Shedding pounds does not require a complete diet-and-exercise overhaul. In fact, starting small is often the best way to meet—and maintain—your weight loss goals, says Tony Gentilcore, C.S.C.S., founder of CORE in Boston. The good habits you adopt can snowball, leading to bigger changes down the line too, he says.

Here are ten ways to start losing weight with minimal effort.

1. Eat Foods That Hydrate You

It may sound counterintuitive, but eating more food can be a key to weight loss—as long as we’re talking about foods with a high water content, says Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., author of Food and Fitness After 50.

Eating water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, or broth-based soups can fill you up, leaving you less likely to overeat on more calorie-dense foods, she says.

In fact, a study published in the journal Appetite found that when people ate a broth-based vegetable soup 15 minutes before a pasta lunch, they consumed 20 percent fewer calories overall, compared to when they just ate their main meal. The researchers believe the soup slows the rate at which food moves through your digestive tract, which can increase feelings of satiety.

There’s a mental benefit too: Seeing more food in front of you can make you feel less deprived, Rosenbloom says. And that can cut your urge to end your meal with a calorie-rich dessert.

Try starting your meal with a broth-based soup, even if you’re eating at home. Not a soup fan? Look for other ways to include more water-rich foods to your plate. “Add two or three leaves of lettuce or more tomato on your sandwich,” Rosenbloom says.

2. Wake Up to Protein

Eating a protein-rich meal in the morning can set you up for a whole day of healthy eating, Rosenbloom says. That’s because, like hydrating foods, protein boosts satiety. And if you’re feeling satisfied, you’re less likely to graze all morning.

“Aim for 30 grams of protein at breakfast,” she says, adding that most people get less than 15 grams.

Adding a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie is an easy way to pack it in: A single scoop contains roughly 20 to 30 grams, depending on the type you choose. If you prefer solid foods, “think eggs and a whole-grain cereal with filtered milk, like Fairlife, which contains more protein than the regular kind,” Rosenbloom says.

Want more ideas? Check out these seven protein-packed breakfasts that trim your waistline.

3. Give the Sweatpants a Break

One of the perks of retirement is not having to get dressed up every day. But living in yoga pants or sweats might actually be doing your belly a disservice since you’re missing out on the instant feedback of a too-tight waistband, Rosenbloom says.

“It’s a little bit of self-monitoring,” she says. Noticing your go-to pants suddenly feel tight can lead you to make changes to your food or exercise routine—which you may miss if you’re wearing elastic pants that are more forgiving. Your weight may change more significantly before you realize something’s up.

You don’t need to swear off sweatpants for good. Even trying on the same pair of dress pants every Sunday can be enough monitoring, she says. Read more

Hot Yoga can be very good, but also risky

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Tips on getting back into exercise routine

Nathan Lurz, exercise physiologist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital shared that when seemingly endless holiday parties and heavy winter meals mix with the cold of the season, it’s easy to let your weekly gym appointments slide.

Unfortunately, research shows individuals who stop exercising will lose their strength gains within two or three weeks and cardio gains within 12 days, says Ed Bendoraitis, exercise physiologist at the Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill.

Those who have been exercising longer will hold on to their prior levels a little further past those marks, but losing some of your progress shouldn’t dissuade you from hopping back on your bike, favorite weight machine or into your running shoes, says Bendoraitis.

As frustrating as it may be to underperform your previous paces or weights, people need to get back into shape by taking it slow, he says.

“Start with something that is comfortable for you, like walking, biking or yoga. Anything that gets you moving,” he says. “Do not try to run a marathon your first day back.”

Bendoraitis recommends consciously scheduling (or rescheduling) your exercise days and times each week so you know exactly when you are going to hit the gym and can hold yourself accountable. Read more

10 best exercises for senior adults

 John DePasquale wrote in Edward-Elmhurst’s  Healthy Driven Life that several things happen as we age that can affect our fitness level and everyday functioning. For example, decreasing hormones cause our muscles to atrophy, our bones to weaken and we become better “insulated” with fat.You don’t have to give in to aging without a fight! A proper exercise plan can not only slow these processes but potentially reverse them.

So what’s the secret? Exercise, of course! One of the most important things we can do as we get older is stick with a proper fitness program, especially one that emphasizes weight training.

Exercising with machines or free weights can increase natural levels of muscle-building hormones, decrease the rate at which we accumulate fat, and increase our overall lean body or muscle mass. As we build muscle and get stronger, our bodies burn more calories to stay alive every day. This is because muscle mass requires more calories, even at rest.

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